For the next 6 weeks, I'll be learning and creating with Reallusion's Character Creator 3 Pipeline. I'll be starting out fresh, learning the basics and working on a few creative projects that I hope will expand my skills in CC3. I will share my discoveries and mistakes along the way. Note that I'll be using the most current version of the program (as of May 30, 2019). Reallusion has kindly made the program available to me for this series. Direct download of the CC3 demo is at Reallusion.com.
"There is no real replacement for manually modelling a character, specifically for a given project. However, if you go into it understanding that then its clear that Reallusion have done an excellent job with Character Creator. The interface is a real pleasure and creating a figure is hugely entertaining and productive"
-Rob Redman 3dtotal.com
Reallusion and Character Creator Background
Reallusion is a “2D and 3D animation software and content developer” founded in 2000 and headquartered in Silicon Valley with R&D in Taiwan. I came across the company just after they were founded and had released the first version of their flagship program iClone. I've been following them ever since. The company's growth and popularity has been huge especially over the last several years.
Character Creator began around 2015 as an part of iClone. It was a module in the program that let users create their own characters using mostly sliders. The second version of the program (still inside of iClone) added a PBR editor and many upgrades especially to the materials and lighting parts of the program. The third and current version of the program was released in 2019. Character Creator 3 Pipeline is now a stand-alone product that is well-connected to the rest of the Reallusion family of products as well as integrating into major game engines like Unity and Unreal. The program is also tightly integrated with Pixelogic's ZBrush appliction which is the definitive 3D sculpting tool for 3D character artists.
Unlike major 3D modeling applications like Maya or Cinema 4D, Character Creator 3 is aimed primarily at the gaming and art illustration markets. These artists want simple 3D creation tools that help them create game characters that will look good and function well in their games. Graphic artists also want to pose characters for advertising graphics and book cover illustration. There is also a large amateur user base that just want to have fun creating their own unique characters.
Reallusion offers a generous 30 day demo of CC3 Pipeline. It has few limitations and is quite robust even for a demo. I recommend you follow the download link and work with the program with me over the next 6 weeks. Reallusion offers several different flavors of CC3 bundled with a variety of plug-ins. Check this page for a full break down. Basic pricing for the Character Creator 3 Pipeline is $149. I recommend the Photo-Realistic Bundle which includes the fabulous Iray render plug-in and tons of materials. This kicks the price up to $199.
Downloading and Installing Character Creator 3
One thing about Reallusion that I have come to admire over the years is that they are dedicated to smart development of their products and ease of use. Downloading, installing and getting started with CC3P is super easy. After purchase (and registration at the Reallusion site), you will download their product manager (the Reallusion Hub) which is where the actual downloads will take place. Be sure to check your hard drive so that you can accomodate the large file sizes (10 Gb).
System requirements for CC3P are about medium level, in my opinion. Minimum Requirements include:
- Dual core CPU or higher
- 8GB RAM or higher
- 10GB free hard disk space or higher
- Graphics Card: NVidia GeForce GTX 600 Series / AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series or higher
- Video Memory: 2GB RAM or higher
You will also need either Windows 10, 8, 7 (SP1) and support for 64-bit operating system. Sorry, but there is no Mac version available at present. Reallusion has an excellent website with lots of support. You can get more detailed info there at the Character Creator 3 page.